The coming of the new year is the perfect opportunity to change old habits, whether it’s eating better or getting a better handle on your finances.
Here are some practical tips to get on your way towards your financial goals in 2022.
Establish a budget, and stick to it
A good way to start keeping track of your expenses and spending is to create a budget, according to Certified Financial Planner Justin Mailhes of Argent Advisors in Monroe.
Consistently recording when the money comes in, and when and where it goes out, gives you the ability to more easily identify trouble spots.
“You have to know where your money’s going to even start cutting back,” Mailhes said.
Set up a weekly savings plan
Mailhes said people spend money on gifts for birthdays and holidays, so it’s effective to plan ahead for the occasion.
“You know it’s coming every year, so try to start week one and saving some money so you’re not having to try to come up with a $1,000 to pay for gifts at one time,” he said. “You save for it all throughout the year. Put some money into your savings account.”
Utilize mobile apps
Downloading mobile applications, such as Mint, Every Dollar and Home Budget, is an easy way to track one’s spending, according to Mailhes.
“Any type of free app on a phone to help track your spending to make sure you’re staying on a budget is important also,” Mailhes said. “Mint can be linked to your bank account so it automatically pulls in your transactions.”
Review your subscriptions
Mailhes said another tip is constantly reviewing subscriptions and memberships, as well as cable and internet services you’re paying for.
“(If) you’re not using them anymore, you can cancel them and you’re getting hit with $10 a month,” Mailhes said. “If you’re still using them, good. If not, cancel them. Always look at your internet or TV packages and make sure you’re still using everything you’re paying for. If not, call and see if they can reduce your bill if you cut back on some of the services.”
Shop around auto and home insurance
Every year or every other year, get quotes for home and auto insurance with different companies. Mailhes said you can often save a decent amount of money when shopping around.
“A lot of places will bundle insurance and you can save a good bit of money shopping around on home and car insurance,” he said. “Make sure when you’re comparing those type things, you’re comparing the exact same coverages and not two different types of coverages.”
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